High Five Contest Rules

Joyce Henderson is changing her name!

ANNOUNCING the new HIGH FIVE Contest from S.W. Florida Romance Writers

We hear it all the time. We have only a few pages to grab an editor or agent.

Start on a HIGH note with FIVE great pages!

Get the great feedback you expect from Joyce Henderson.

Open for entries Aug. 15 – deadline Oct. 1, 2019



Contemporary (including Women’s Fiction with romantic elements)
Editor: Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press
Agent: Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency

**Romantic Comedy** NEW!!!
Editor: Caroline Tolley, Soul Mate Publishing
Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency

Editor: Mary Altman, Sourcebooks
Agent: Kat Enright, The Seymour Agency

Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy
Editor: Robin Haseltine, Entangled Publishing
Agent: Amanda Leuck, Spencerhill Associates

Romantic Suspense
Editor: Georgia Woods, Hartwood Publishing
Agent: Erin Niumata, Folio Literary Management

Young Adult
Editor: Nancy Schumacher, Melange Books
Agent: Michelle Grajkowski, Three Seas Literary Agency


  • The chance to get your manuscript in front of a top industry editor AND agent!
  • All winners announced in the Romance Writers Report.
  • Within each category, winners will receive:
    • 1st place: $50 and a Certificate of Achievement and Web logo
    • 2nd place: Certificate of Achievement
    • 3rd place: Certificate of Achievement
    • ALL FINALISTS: Will receive complimentary admission to our Hearts in the Sand Conference, January 31-February 1, 2020

FIRST-ROUND JUDGES are members of Southwest Florida Romance Writers and other chapters of Romance Writers of America. Each entry will be evaluated by two first-round judges, at least one a published author. We encourage our judges to make comments, both on the score sheets and within the manuscript.


DEADLINE and other important dates:

Contest opens August 15, 2019. Entries must be submitted and payment received by 11:59 p.m. on OCTOBER 1, 2019. Finalists will be notified the first week of December, and we will announce winners February 1, 2020 at our Hearts in the Sand Conference.


  • Unpublished authors
  • Traditional or self-published authors who have not published in the category they’re entering within the past 5 years
  • Entries must be the author’s original work that has not been published or contracted to be published. If self-publishing, we ask that you not release until (a) you learn you are not a finalist, or (b) if you ARE a finalist, until the winner is announced. If first-round or final judges should look up a title and find ratings or reviews, that could throw off the contest results (and your own placement, for better OR for worse).
  • All English-language entries are welcome.


The first 5 pages of an unpublished manuscript featuring romantic elements.

Contestants may submit as many entries as they like, but a separate entry must be completed for each title and category entered.


All entries are electronic. Files will be accepted in *.doc or *.rtf formats. For the time being, *.docx is NOT permitted.

Manuscripts must be in standard manuscript format:

  • Double-spaced
  • One-inch margins, with text aligned to the left margin
  • Times New Roman or Courier 12-point font
  • Paragraphs indented, with no extra space between paragraphs
  • Page numbers
  • Headers including manuscript title
  • Author’s name must not appear anywhere in the document

Entries that do not meet these formatting requirements will be returned for corrections.


$30 per submission via PayPal

SWFRW Members only: $25

You will be notified when your submission/payment is complete.